Heart Stress Test

This test helps diagnose problems with the coronary arteries and determine heart attack risk.

This test helps diagnose problems with the coronary arteries and determine heart attack risk.

A stress test is usually ordered to find out what part of your heart is at risk or has been damaged by a heart attack. It does this by determining how your heart responds to physical stress. It can also be used to monitor someone with a prior history of heart disease. It may also be called a treadmill test or an exercise electrocardiogram.

A stress test may be done in a healthcare provider's office, clinic, or hospital. A technician will be with you at all times and a healthcare provider will be present or nearby.

  • Some medications may interfere with the test. Ask your healthcare provider if you should take your usual medicines on the day of the test.
  • Do not eat or drink for at least 3 hours before the test.
  • Small electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms, and legs. Your heart's electrical activity and your blood pressure will be closely watched.
  • You will exercise on a treadmill or exercise bicycle, so wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • The exercise part of a stress test usually lasts 15 minutes or less. In all, testing usually takes about an hour.
  • If you have health problems that prevent you from exercising, you can be given a medication that mimics the effects of exercise.

Before your stress test, make a list of your questions, concerns, symptoms and medications (including over-the-counter).

  • Verify which medications you should take before the stress test.
  • Ask about possible complications, how you will feel after the test and if you should modify your activity. Make sure you understand all pre-test instructions.

After your stress test, you should know if there are any immediate concerns and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Stress Test
Heart Stress Test
Heart Rhythm
Heart Problem
Heart Disease
Coronary Artery
Cardiovascular Stress Test
Cardiac Stress Test

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